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Mikel Arteta’s sideline fight with Jurgen Klopp came at the WORST moment for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta’s touchdown on the touchline with Jurgen Klopp came at the WORST moment for Arsenal … it inspired a calm Anfield out loud and the Gunners paid the price in a punishing loss.

  • Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta faced Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the touchline
  • The incident galvanized Liverpool, who began to play inspired football after
  • The Klopp Reds won 4-0 in a landslide victory at Anfield on Saturday.


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Choosing the right time and place for scrapping can pay off. Obviously, a break in play at Anfield was neither the most opportune time nor the best place for Mikel Arteta to challenge Jurgen Klopp to a touchline dance.

They really did seek each other out, or as much as managers do, with bulging eyes and fruity words before the support staff on both sides kept it from getting too silly.

Both were booked for the fight, which came at 31 minutes and seconds after Sadio Mane caught Takehiro Tomiyasu during a challenge for a high ball. A fair punishment, probably, but perhaps the most profound consequences for Arsenal were to be found in what followed.

Mikel Arteta's sideline fight with Jurgen Klopp came at the worst possible moment for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta’s sideline fight with Jurgen Klopp came at the worst possible moment for Arsenal

Until then, they had succeeded in one of the main goals of either side on a trip to this stadium: silencing the crowd. It tends to be a decent part of the battle, and it will be again now that people can get back in.

By extension, and conversely, dumping a little electricity at the site above can make the steps towards a positive outcome a bit steeper for those who visit.

And so the problem, that is, an even game in a calm atmosphere became something much more difficult in the midst of the noise inspired by that flash point. With him, the balance of the game changed instantly and irreversibly.

Within two minutes, Mo Salah had forced Aaron Ramsdale to make a fast-paced save and within 10 minutes Mane had led them to the front, a 5-foot-7 striker carried to the center halves on sound waves.

The incident only served to inspire the previously quiet crowd at Anfield into a cacophony of noise.

The incident only served to inspire the previously quiet crowd at Anfield into a cacophony of noise.

The incident only served to inspire the previously quiet crowd at Anfield into a cacophony of noise.

It might be a bit of a leap to assign the cause to the overall effect of a 4-0 away loss on an excellent team, but there’s no question that the change of tone on the field made hard work that much more difficult.

Perhaps a harsh lesson was learned in Arteta’s unusual loss of control. But in the prime of the season, one wonders if this is the kind of trait that would be reflected with some success on the field. Be it that change you want to see, or something like that.

It’s still one of those soccer truisms that successful teams tend to have in common in their ability to blend the dirty with the good.

Arteta himself has mentioned it, and indeed he was no angel in his day: His 284 Premier League appearances included 43 yellow cards and four red cards. He wasn’t a monster, but he knew the limitations of good manners in a midfield.

Liverpool, roaring for their fans, won 4-0 in a beating at Anfield on Saturday.

Liverpool, roaring for their fans, won 4-0 in a beating at Anfield on Saturday.

Liverpool, roaring for their fans, won 4-0 in a beating at Anfield on Saturday.

Possibly that is what Arsenal still needs. He has stood out since beating Manchester City, as evidenced by his unbeaten streak of eight league games leading up to this one.

But there is still a physical deference to your game, which can make for some exceptionally pretty patterns in most games.

Other times, like an away game in Liverpool, you question the logic of a graceful forward four when there is so little muscle to back them up.

The Arsenal fighters would have been better placed in the midfield than in the technical area.

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